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Archive for the ‘Automobiles’ Category

BMW Adds Gran Coupe Version of 8-Series

Bigger, roomier and now offered with new Inline-six.

by on Jun.19, 2019

The 2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is the Bavarian maker's latest coupe-like sedan.

BMW has pulled the wraps off a new sedan version of its 8-Series. Oops, make that a Gran Coupe version, the distinctive moniker the Bavarian maker is using for four-door versions of its coupes.

Though it picks up on the basic shape of the two-door 8-Series model, which launched just a year ago, the Gran Coupe is longer, taller, wider and roomier. It’s also being offered with a new, inline-six engine, as well as the 523-horsepower twin-turbo V-8 found in the two-door version of the 8-Series.

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Set to start at just over $85,000 when it reaches U.S. showrooms next autumn, the 2018 8-Series Gran Coupe can push well over six figures with options such as performance tires, a carbon fiber roof, night vision, and a 1,400-watt Bowers & Wilkins audio system. (more…)

Tesla’s Autopilot Helps Avoid Drowsy Driver Collisions

Sleeping driver reports on the rise.

by on Jun.19, 2019

Reddit user MiloWee posted video of this Tesla Model 3 driver apparently asleep behind the wheel in traffic in Los Angeles.

For months, stories about Tesla vehicles on Autopilot being involved crashes have dotted news coverage of the California-based EV maker. However, new examples of the semi-autonomous technology is showing up, saving lives.

Drivers are posting video recordings of Tesla drivers asleep behind the wheel as their vehicles motor along in traffic.

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Los Angeles’ NBC affiliate ran the footage of Shawn Miladinovich, who drove next to a Model 3 driver fast asleep on the LA’s infamous 405 freeway. He said the guy behind the wheel was “was just fully sleeping, eyes were shut, hands nowhere near the steering wheel,” Miladinovich, who was a passenger in a nearby car, told the station. (more…)

Germans, Japanese Struggle as Koreans Expand Lead in Power Initial Quality Study

Detroit automakers show strength, though industry, overall, stalls out.

by on Jun.19, 2019

While Porsche scored below average overall, the 911 was the highest-quality model in the 2019 IQS.

Once known for bargain-basement pricing and mediocre quality, Korean carmakers have not only moved up-market but shown that they can deliver industry-leading quality, or so it seems, based on the latest annual J.D. Power Initial Quality Study.

If anything, Kia, Hyundai and recently launched luxury brand Genesis are actually expanding their lead over the Japanese and European marques that had traditionally led the closely followed Power IQS. Genesis topped the 2019 chart, followed by Kia and Hyundai, followed by Detroit-based Ford and Lincoln. Japan managed to place only three brands in the IQS top 10, while not a single European brand scored above average.

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But the new study – which focuses on new cars, trucks and crossovers during their first 90 days on the road – also revealed that the quality of the latest models leveled off after scoring significant improvements through much of the past decade, according to Power. (more…)

“Framing John DeLorean” Misses Mark, Still Must-See Movie

Saga of fallen former GM executive makes for compelling viewing.

by on Jun.19, 2019

"Framing John DeLorean" chronicles the rise and fall of the former GM executives.

“Framing John DeLorean,” the new movie about the fallen auto executive, has an awkward title and cinema purists are likely to be put off by its mix of talking heads, bits from news film and videos and scenes re-acted by actors.

It almost seems that the producers of the film couldn’t find enough archival footage to do a documentary but had nowhere near enough money to hire actors and find the locations necessary to serve as back drop for DeLorean’s biography.

Beyond the Headlines!

But the film, with Alec Baldwin serving at the narrator and commentator, manages to succeed in telling the dramatic story of rise and fall a Detroit-born auto executive, who left his name on what has become an iconic vehicle with a unique place in American popular culture. (more…)

Lexus Adds Advanced Safety Suite Across the Line

Announcement follows addition of new safety features by sibling Toyota brand.

by on Jun.19, 2019

The Lexus LSS+ suite of advanced driver assistance systems becomes standard for 2020.

Toyota’s luxury arm will make its Lexus Safety System+ standard on all future models, the automaker announced on Wednesday, a move it said could prevent many crashes and reduce the severity of others.

The move comes a week after sibling brand Toyota announced it will introduce two all-new safety features on its 2020 line-up, including one system designed to prevent potentially deadly vehicle rollaways.

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The industry, as a whole, has begun integrating new advanced driver assistance systems on more and more vehicles, often as standard features. That is expected to save thousands of lives and prevent even more injuries, according to safety advocates.


Tesla Stock Rebounds, But Questions Remain About Production

Musk fires up troops to break production record.

by on Jun.18, 2019

Tesla's stock rallied in early morning trading, but by the end of the day, it gave back most of its gains.

After plunging last month to levels not seen since 2016, Tesla shares have been rebounding in recent days. And though a Tuesday morning rally wound up the day in negative territory by the time the final bell was rung, shares are still up more than 4% in recent days, giving the battery-carmaker a bit of a respite.

But whether the upturn will continue is far from certain, with analysts and investors anxiously waiting to see how Tesla’s second-quarter production and sales numbers fare. The automaker fell well short of its first quarter target, driving its bottom line deep into the red. CEO Elon Musk has signaled that the losses likely will continue for the current quarter, but he has also indicated that production and sales have been picking up.

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Separately, Tesla bulls appear relieved by the 47-year-old entrepreneur’s newfound caution when it comes to using his Twitter feed. Musk has found himself in serious trouble on several occasions over the past year due to his tendency to say whatever comes to mind in his steady flow of tweets. Among other things, that has led to his removal as Tesla chairman and it had earlier this year raised the prospect he might also be forced out as CEO. (more…)

Italian Airport Gets Its Second Lamborghini Huracan

Supercars guide airliners to their gates.

by on Jun.18, 2019

Bologna's Marconi International Airport is on its second Lamborghini Huracan.

Flair is an adjective often applied to Italians and Italian culture. Whether it’s a discussion about fashion, food or architecture, Italians are known to make sure it’s memorable.

This isn’t limited to the aforementioned areas as we’re just learning. The Bologna Guglielmo Marconi International Airport is ensuring it incorporates some style into its daily operations, like guiding large jets around the airport.

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Commercial airliners follow a 580-horsepower Lamborghini Huracan complete with a sign that reads “Follow Me.” The car isn’t just for show, it performs a vital service and puts in a full day, seven days a week. (more…)

First Drive: 2020 Ford Explorer

New model is roomier, more rugged than predecessor.

by on Jun.18, 2019

The 2020 Ford Explorer Platinum edition is bigger, roomier and more powerful than its predecessor.

Since starting life as something of an experiment by Ford Motor Co’s product planners more three decades ago, the Explorer has become one of the company’s major sources of revenue.

The Explorer might not have a following as large as the F-150 but the fan base is large enough and diverse enough to extend the line to satisfy an even broader range of customers with the sixth-generation Explorer that is beginning to reach dealers across the U.S. now.

Reviews You Can Trust!

The 2020 Explorer is larger, roomier, more power powerful and equipped with more technology than its predecessors. It’s also engineered to be more rugged and both the hybrid and XLT – the expected volume leader – versions of the 2020 Explorer that I drove easily mastered the short off-road course, which included steep downhill and uphill grades as well as a sweeping curve with a steep bank that I doubt very much previous generations of the Explorer could have handled. (more…)

Chevy Could Be First to Deliver $100,000 Pickup

Demand for pickups of all sizes, prices, defies overall U.S. sales downturn, says truck marketing chief.

by on Jun.18, 2019

Chevrolet is investing heavily into its plants to keep up with demand for its heavy-duty trucks.

The U.S. automotive market is expected to post only its second downturn since the end of the Great Recession, a decline that likely would be worse if not for surging demand for pickups of all sizes and price points, said Sandor Piszar, the marketing chief for Chevrolet trucks.

If anything, Chevy and sibling brand GMC are struggling to meet demand for their latest line-up of midsize, full-size and heavy-duty pickups, Piszar noted during an interview with, a situation that last week led parent General Motors to announce a $150 million expansion of its truck plant in Flint, Michigan.

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As always, demand is being driven by the “core” audience who want trucks for work and need lots of towing and cargo capacity, said Piszar. But there’s a growing market among non-traditional buyers who see a pickup as an alternative to a sedan or coupe and, in many cases, a luxury car. And those buyers “are demanding more” high-line features while also accepting fast-rising transaction prices. Chevy moved up-market with is latest trim level, the Silverado High Country. But it is exploring the potential to reach even higher, a move that could see it offer the first truck to top the $100,000 mark. (more…)

Pedestrian, Bicyclist Deaths Rise in 2018

NHTSA hasn't been able to determine why the disparity exists.

by on Jun.18, 2019

Pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities rose in 2018 despite an overall drop in traffic fatalities.

U.S. pedestrian and bicyclist deaths rose in 2018 despite an overall drop in traffic fatalities of 1% in 2018 to 36,750, according to a preliminary report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Last year, pedestrian deaths were projected please to rise 4% and bicyclist deaths by 10%. However, the overall traffic fatality rate was projected to drop to 1.14 deaths per 100 million miles traveled as deaths fell to 36,750, the lowest rate since 2014.

Safety News!

Pedestrian deaths accounted for 16% of all U.S traffic deaths in 2017, up from 12% in 2009. NHTSA officials said they couldn’t put their finger on precisely caused the jump in pedestrian and bicyclist deaths. (more…)